According to a Nigerian Scholar, Optometrist, and Vice-Chancellor Abia State University, Professor Eleazar Uche Ikonne “Kindness is a fundamental part of human condition which bridges the divide of race, religion, politics, gender and zip codes”.
Having said that,one will also agree with me that Kindness is a show of concern about the happiness and feelings of others in a gently and friendly way.
Similarly, Ogbonna Onuoha, a Professor of Linguistics and Igbo also defined Kindness as “the manner in which one relates to others in solving their problems and assuaging their feelings or given them sense of belonging that will go a long way to make positive impacts on them”
Kindness also refers to benevolence, forgiveness and mercy in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts.
Biblically,the concept of God of kindness appears in various religions, including Christianity and Islam. Performing acts of kindness, as a component of religious belief, is also emphasized through actions such as the giving of alms and care for the sick and work of mercy.
In the social and legal context, kindness may refer to compassionate behaviour on the part of those in power such as kindness and mercy shown by a judge to a convict, or on the part of a humanitarian third party like a mission of kindness aiming to treat war victims.
Kindness is one of the basic virtues of Christian ethics. It is also related to concepts of justice and morality in behaviour between people. Kindness, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies.
Kindness can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection.
It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalized and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.
A behaviour of benevolence to others less fortunate than ourselves, provision of goods, money and health care to those in need, philanthropic gestures by others to ameliorate the condition of others are all acts of kindness. One of the global kindest personalities was Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity had over four thousand, five hundred sisters and an associated brotherhood of three hundred members, operating six hundred and ten missions in one hundred and thirty-three countries. These includes hospice and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, children and family counseling programmes, personal helpers, orphanages, and schools. Her Missionaries of Charity were also aided by Co-Workers, who numbered over one million by 1990s.
The activities of these kindness organization and prominent individuals of the world include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education; restoring gender equality and empowering women, alleviating child mortality; increase maternal health; reduction risk of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
These kindness organizations, like International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Rotary International, Bill Gates, Ford and Rocky Fella Foundations, Vica Hope Foundation (VHF) of the wife of the Abia State Governor and a lot of individual foundations in Nigeria have made enormous contributions as stakeholders to upgrade the dignity and welfare of people. These are central to world economic and social order and have also made beneficial contributions to sustainable development in the upliftment of the dignity and welfare of man. They are the lifelines of mankind with enormous power of humanity which is the power of God.
It is emphatically stated that one gesture resurrects the heart.
Let me conclude with the words of an American singer, songwriter and spoken word artist,Mary Danielle Lambert ” Treat others as you wish to be treated. Don’t just be nice, but be kind to other people. That can be so rewarding”. Please be kind to others.
Ahamefula Israel,a bureaucrat,sent in this piece from uturu, Abia State. E-mail: Anyameleisrael@gmail.com